During a recent conversation with my daughter I was reminded of this particular summer. The summer this picture was taken. The summer I spent an enormous amount of time in this beautiful park practicing photography, reading, walking and avoiding reality in general. It was a bad summer but when I look back now, all I really remember is how much I loved this place and how I couldn’t wait for the weekend so I could load up my camera and books and Ipod and just escape. I was just another set of footprints, another blanket on the grass. I knew no one and no one knew me. Sometimes I simply walked the path that surrounded the park and let myself get lost in the faces that passed me. Or I would lay on a blanket just staring at the blue above hoping God could hear my silent prayers.
Mostly I just wandered on and off the trail, under large evergreens and around massive oaks. Looking for inspiration. Watching entire scenes play out in front of me, the people in them completely unaware of my presence. A group of college kids trying to launch a bizarre kite that never really did fly but brought rolls of laughter as it would knock down several of it’s would-be fliers at a time. Couples lost in conversation and dog owners desperately trying to walk their pets, only to become the walked instead. While these were entertaining and often hilarious, my real focus was on the trees and clouds and the inanimate features. Small pools of reflective water caught in massive exposed tree roots that over the years had created amazing natural works of art in the landscape. Floors of pine needles and scattered cones. The beautiful aqua blue door of old well kept home just across the street. The water drops on a park bench after a summer rain shower.
It was a bad summer but here I found peace and eventually the ability to face reality.